Oct 28, 2021  
2017-2018 Faculty Handbook 
2017-2018 Faculty Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Grievances

Academic Grievances – Undergraduate Students

The Subcommittee on Undergraduate Student Academic Grievances was founded to ensure fair, orderly and expeditious consideration for any students who feel they may have an individual grievance relating to such matters as grading practices, application of curriculum restrictions, nature or method of instruction or course content. A student's dissatisfaction with an instructor's grading judgment does not constitute a grievance.

The Subcommittee shall consist of two undergraduate students and two alternates (chosen in the same way as students on other College committees), two faculty members and two alternates elected by the faculty, and one administrator appointed by the Provost. The administrative appointee and the faculty members shall serve three-year terms, except that in the initial election, one faculty member will be elected for a two-year term. Students shall serve one-year terms.

The Subcommittee shall adjudicate each case according to common and accepted academic practices. It shall sustain grievances where instructors have not employed such practices and reject grievances where instructors have employed such practices.


Students having academic grievances should adhere to the following procedure:

Step 1. Confer with the instructor involved in an attempt to solve the problem.
Step 2. If still unsatisfied, confer with the Student Academic Grievance Committee of the department involved in a second effort to achieve a resolution. A department should first determine if the matter brought to it is grievable under existing policies. If the matter is grievable, the departmental grievance committee should attempt to arbitrate differences. (If the department grievance committee does not exist, or cannot be convened, then the department chair should attempt to arbitrate the grievance.) After its attempt to arbitrate the grievance, the departmental committee should inform the student whether or not it has secured a solution agreeable to both parties.
Step 3. If the arbitration fails, the student may carry the grievance to the Subcommittee on Student Academic Grievances, where it will be adjudicated. The departmental committee does not have the power to adjudicate.

Operating Guidelines for the Subcommittee on Undergraduate Student Academic Grievances

The Subcommittee will use its own judgment of common and accepted academic practices in reviewing the acceptability of particular academic practices and their applications to the grievances in question.

The Subcommittee will consult with the student(s) involved and other relevant parties in its effort to reach a decision. (The chairs of Elementary and Adolescence Education will be consulted in appeals involving student teaching for their respective areas.)

After considering a grievance, the Subcommittee shall designate a specific course of action or disposition. The Subcommittee shall give in writing to all direct parties of a grievance a statement of its disposition and a justification of its decision. The Subcommittee's decisions shall be final.

Academic Grievances – Graduate Students

  1. A graduate student with an academic grievance should first try to resolve the problem with the faculty member involved. A grading judgment alone shall not be a basis for a grievance.
  2. If that fails, the student should confer with the chair of the department involved. The chair will attempt to mediate the dispute and may call on the departmental grievance committee to assist, if such a committee exists. If the matter cannot be resolved within the department, the chair will notify, in writing, the parties involved and the divisional dean.
  3. The student may then file a formal written complaint to the appropriate divisional dean. The complaint must be filed within 45 days of receiving notice that the department chair was unable to resolve the problem. The complaint must state a specific charge.
  4. The divisional dean may attempt to mediate or resolve the dispute informally, or may proceed with the appointment of an ad hoc grievance committee.
  5. The ad hoc committee will consist of three members of the SUNY Oneonta graduate teaching faculty. The grievant will name one member; the faculty member involved will name the second and the Chair of the College Graduate Committee will name the third, who will chair the ad hoc committee.
  6. When the committee is formed, the divisional dean will announce its membership to the parties involved in the dispute.
  7. The ad hoc committee will
    1. Determine what evidence it needs and request it from the appropriate parties;
    2. Establish a schedule for hearing and determining the grievance, and announce it to the parties involved;
    3. Review the relevant materials, that may include existing policies and regulations, and written or oral statements from the parties involved or witnesses; and
    4. Report its findings and recommendations, in writing, to the parties involved, the divisional dean, and the Chair of the College Graduate Committee.
  8. The ad hoc committee will try to complete its work within thirty days. If it cannot, it will notify the parties involved, the divisional dean, and the Chair of the College Graduate Committee.